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Going Forward, He Could be India’s Perfect Solution-Harbhajan Singh Picks Iyer Over Rahane

Harbhajan Singh's advice for Team India ahead of SA Tour.

Harbhajan Singh's advice for Team India ahead of SA Tour.

While Iyer made a superb debut in Kanpur, slamming a century, Rahane has been jostling for runs.

Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh feels Shreyas Iyer can replace out of form Ajinkya Rahane in South Africa. Although, it is very clear that Rahane might get to be on that plane to Rainbow Nation, Iyer should be the automatic choice for the first Test match starting December 26, felt former India spinner. While Iyer made a superb debut in Kanpur, slamming a century, Rahane has been jostling for runs ever since.

“Shreyas Iyer batted brilliantly in the last game and showed his talent. And I am so happy that he made the most of the opportunity in the middle order. Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane is not scoring runs. Going forward, Iyer could be India’s perfect solution,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying on his YouTube channel.

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“Don’t know if Rahane will be a part of the India squad for the South Africa series but Iyer, I feel, has made his case as a middle-order option. It will be interesting when the selection happens,” he added.

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Rahane’s place in the side came under scrutiny as even as teams landed in Mumbai for the second Test match. Interestingly, he was reported to be injured; therefore, dropped from the Test match. Coming back to India vs South Africa Test series, the three-game series will begin on December 26. Cricket South Africa confirmed on Saturday India will play three Test matches on their tour which starts later this month but “under the strictest Covid-19 guidelines".

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The CSA added the tour will be delayed by a week to allow for “effective logistical planning" following an outbreak of the coronavirus Omicron variant in the host country.

Omicron was first discovered in South Africa and has led to global panic, uncertainty and fresh travel curbs in the last few days, raising questions over the prospects for the tour. India will also play three one-day internationals. The tour will be shortened, with four Twenty20 internationals being postponed until later in the year. The first Test was due to start in Johannesburg on December 17 but the series is now likely to start in Centurion on December 26, with further Tests expected to be played in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The CSA statement said a revised fixture list would be announced “in the next 48 hours."

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first published:December 05, 2021, 14:33 IST